Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Patricia N. Anderson


Reading fluency and automaticity are essential components of the first-grade reading curriculum, yet little is known about teachers’ perspectives on their role in assisting children in mastering these skills. The purpose of this basic qualitative research study was to explore teachers’ perspectives of the problem of low reading fluency and low automaticity among their first-grade students. The theory of automatic information processing in reading formed the conceptual framework, augmented by Rasinski’s techniques of repeated reading and readers theater to support development of reading fluency and automaticity. Research questions about teachers’ perspectives of oral reading fluency and automaticity, their understanding of strategies used to increase these skills, and possible needs for resources related to oral reading fluency and automaticity were investigated. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with 12 first-grade teachers and analyzed using the In Vivo coding process. Results from this study described teacher perspectives that confirm previous findings that oral reading fluency and automaticity are essential to student’s literacy success. Teachers described using oral reading, partner reading, and small group differentiation to enhance students’ reading fluency and automaticity. Teachers also described a need for more professional development and instructional materials, and support for reading at home. This study contributes to positive social change because increased understanding of teachers’ perspectives regarding fluency and automaticity can inform future strategies to increase such skills. Improved fluency and automaticity may translate into stronger student readers.